What to Do in Case of an Accident in Midland
Posted June 24, 2018 01:45 AM
Screeching tires, crunching metal – it's an accident! If you've ever been in a car accident in Midland, even a minor one, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard to think straight and know what to do.
Let's review what Midland drivers should do in case of an accident:
When an accident occurs, you should always stop. Leaving the scene of an accident in Midland is considered a crime - even if it's not your fault. And hit and run penalties are fairly severe, possibly resulting in steep fines, loss of your Texas driver's license or even jail time.
Your jurisdiction may require that you try to help someone who is injured by calling for help or performing first aid if you are able. Warn other motorists by putting out flares, using your flashers or lifting your hood. Call Midland emergency services as soon as possible. Tell the operator if medical or fire help is needed.
You should always file a police report. It's tempting to skip this if everything seems to be ok. But without a police report, the other guy can say whatever he wants about the accident later, and you won't have an objective report to help defend yourself. Discuss the accident only with the police. Emotions are strong after an accident and we naturally want to talk about it – don't. Never admit fault or guilt to anyone including the Midland police officer. Sometimes we may feel at fault, but in the eyes of the law, the other guy may be responsible.
Truthfully give the officer the facts: such as, "I was going 30 miles an hour," or, "I was going 55 kilometers per hour," not, "I wasn't speeding." Remember, anything you say to the officer or anyone else can be used against you. Also get the officer's name and ID number and ask where you can get a copy of the accident report.
Get the facts on the driver and owner of the other vehicle:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Driver's license number and expiration
- Insurance information
Also take down a description of the other vehicle, license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN). Most Texas auto insurance companies don't record license plate numbers, so the VIN is the best way to track a vehicle in Texas.
Ask witnesses, including passengers, to wait for the police. If they can't wait, ask for contact information and request that they write a brief description of what they saw. If someone refuses to leave their name, write down their license plate number so the police can track them down later if necessary. Always call your insurance agent or your insurance company. Call or see a physician if you think you may have been injured. For vehicle repairs, call West Texas Automotive at 432-689-5414.
Contact West Texas Automotive to learn more about what to do in case of an auto accident.
You can find us at:
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
Lease or Buy?
Posted March 27, 2018 01:27 AM
Lease? Or buy? These are the options for Midland drivers. It's always a tough question for auto owners, but here is some info that'll help you make an informed decision.
If you buy, you'll pay the full cost of the vehicle, maybe an initial down payment, monthly payments on the balance that pays down the loan principal, and the finance charge.
Midland drivers who lease finance the portion of the cost of the vehicle that's used up during the term of the lease. You'll pay some money up front: fees, security deposit, first month's payment and maybe a capital reduction. The monthly payments include a depreciation cost and a finance charge. When the lease is up, you return the vehicle to your local Midland area dealership.
So how do Midland drivers decide?
First, how much do you have for a down payment? A lease usually requires a smaller down payment.
How much monthly payment can you afford? Again, lease payments will be much lower for any given down payment.
A lease needs requires better credit, so that's a factor.
How long will you keep the vehicle? Midland drivers who keep their vehicles around for a while will pay less if they buy. But just two or three years? Then leasing is the way to go.
If your car might suffer a ding or two, like a work truck would, then buying's better. The auto leasing company will want their vehicle back at the lease end in tip top shape, and if repairs are needed, you'll pay.
How far do you drive in and around the Midland area? Important to consider because leases have a mileage limit; if you go over, you pay a hefty charge per mile/kilometer when the lease is up. So high mileage Texas drivers should definitely buy.
Will the car be used in your business? Check with your accountant, but both financing options have different tax benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Over the short term, leasing is much cheaper. Medium term, leasing and buying costs are about the same. Over the long haul, leasing always costs more.
Leases may sound a bit complicated, and the typical lease decision weighs more on the monthly payment rather than price. So sometimes Midland leasers may pay on a higher purchase price than a buyer would.
Here is a tip: If the salesman asks if you'll be leasing or buying, say you're not sure yet. Make your best deal, then look at your financing options.
Here's another: With a buy or a lease, if you total the vehicle, you'll owe the full amount of the loan, or the balance of the lease payments. Usually, it's less than the vehicle's fair market value, and that's all your Texas auto insurance company will pay. But ask your Midland agent about gap insurance, which pays the difference between fair market value and what you owe. Big consideration for a lease.
Remember, you have to return your leased vehicle in excellent condition and may need to do all the vehicle manufacturer's recommended service and maintenance or face penalties. So see your local advisor at your Midland auto repair shop or West Texas Automotive on a regular basis, get the required work done and save the service records. It's well worth it.
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
Are There Blind Spots in Midland?
Posted September 10, 2015 12:00 PM
All Midland drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Midland.
First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...
To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.
First, Midland drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Midland folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.
Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.
When Midland drivers adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on Texas roads and busy highways. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.
As you drive around the Midland area, avoid staying in others' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.
Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle on Texas roads:
Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the drivers face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!
Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.
Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.
Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.
Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.
The team of automotive professionals at West Texas Automotive want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in Midland, Texas
Posted August 20, 2015 12:00 PM
Every car in Midland, Texas, is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:
- Common sense
- Visible and audible devices
- Immobilizing devices
- Tracking devices
Let's review each of these. One is common sense; you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in Texas where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.
And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Midland drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.
People in Midland should know that it's important to roll up their windows completely and avoid leaving their car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.
Keep valuables out of sight; purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive "smash-and-grab" targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.
There are lots of visible and audible devices available for Midland drivers. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what's going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.
Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don't approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.
And here's a great one - immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car's electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can't drive your car away.
Finally, drivers can also get a tracking device that allows Midland police to track their car down and recover it quickly.
Remember, where you live, work and drive around Midland, Texas, has a great impact on your decisions. If you're in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.
Of course, the common sense suggestions from West Texas Automotive don't cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves.
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703